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View Full Version : Conflicting information regarding HPX300... Somethings not right.



G.P.
04-15-2009, 01:07 AM
Ok I am in the market for the HPX300, and as everyone knows it has 2 major problems that are keeping people from diving into the buy. Skew, and Noise.

The Skew isn't really a problem for me, I can see plenty of footage shot with CMOS sensors that will do just fine, you just need to know how to move your camera.

I am worried about the supposedly HORRIBLE noise with this camera. I am seeing footage that is just plain disgusting, completely filled with noise everywhere. Example...

http://vimeo.com/4019755 (You must go to the bottom right of the page and click the link to download the original quicktime HD 720p file to view the bad noise. The video is too small and compressed to see how bad it is. but it is VERY bad once in HD)

And then there are reviews and footage showing and saying that there is hardly any noise at all like in this review...

http://dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=161833

(And in that review this quote: "The HPX300 is as clean, noise-wise, as an EX1/EX3, but neither is as clean as a full 2/3” system would be."

I have seen TONS of EX1 and EX3 daylight footage that looks NOTHING like the HPX300's horrible noise.

So which is it ? was there an incredible version of the camera given to Barry Green with no noise issues just so Panasonic could get a great review, and then the rest of the production models with just horrible noise that is unusable in the professional and even amateur world?

I would love to see who else is shooting with the 300 and getting these clean, no noise images in sunlight...

It really feels like something is wrong, I can't see Panasonic putting out a camera with that bad of a noise issue, but yet the footage im finding all across the internet seems to prove yes. But then a BIG review saying that its noise levels are fine, and showing footage that is clean... I know it said they created a -3db setting, but that still would not make it clean, just better than the horrible stuff I am finding on vimeo (all downloaded the original HD files).

whats going on here? :crybaby: Is it possible to fix this with a firmware update, or is this the CMOS chips themselves and we cant do anything about it?

Jan_Crittenden
04-15-2009, 03:37 AM
Actually I wouldn't judge the camera's noise level on a clip that has been put into Pro-Res and then scaled to 720 and then played off an internet site. Why don't you go take a look at a camera. Barry did not get a special camera, in fact the camera he used was a second generation camera.

Judge the camera only on the raw footage. I took those clips to show that he was able to manage the skew issue and nothing more.

Best,

Jan

G.P.
04-15-2009, 04:12 AM
Actually I wouldn't judge the camera's noise level on a clip that has been put into Pro-Res and then scaled to 720 and then played off an internet site. Why don't you go take a look at a camera. Barry did not get a special camera, in fact the camera he used was a second generation camera.

Judge the camera only on the raw footage. I took those clips to show that he was able to manage the skew issue and nothing more.

Best,

Jan

Thank you so much Jan, I just cant help but notice that the noise level on some of these 720p prores files are just bad, I have shot with MANY cameras and I cannot say that I can produce getting noise levels like that, even with incodeing, scaling, and streaming, there has to be something in the frame for the artifacts to be showing up. I see a bunch of footage on Vimeo that is not doing the camera justice. I really believe there should be someone with a 300 willing to shoot some clips the best it can be shot with and post them.

I love Panasonic, I have shot with the variccam on many shoots, including one of my own short films. I know you guys have excelent standers for your equipment, thats why I'm so shocked that you could get bad footage out of one of your cameras, reardless of how much muck you can throw on top of the original file. Is there a location in NYC that I could go demo one? I know B&H still doesnt have their pro room setup yet... I am a video professonal and I own a production studio, hands on is very important to me, but I cant seem to find places that have it in a show room for viewing and operating.

Jan_Crittenden
04-15-2009, 04:54 AM
You could demo one at Abel Cine Tech, 609 Greenwich Steet. But before you jump in a cab to go see one, wait till after NAB because I think they have virtually emptied their showroom for the booth on the NAB floor.

Best,

Jan

fdriscoll
04-15-2009, 06:49 AM
We still have an HPX300 on our demo floor.

Jan_Crittenden
04-15-2009, 07:11 AM
Hi Frank,

That's funny, Andy told me it was all packed up. Guess he was mistaken.

Great though, Guiseppe can check it out.

Best,

Jan

nsoltz
04-15-2009, 08:12 AM
In general terms, let me second what Jan has to say.

I never assess a camera based upon web-based video.

I assess a camera based upon shooting and viewing footage in my typical shooting situation. That includes everything from the ergonomics of the camera to the footage. For example, if the HPX300 shows unacceptable skew at 1080p24 it would be less of an issue to me because I tend to shoot much more for web, where 720p seems to scale better.

I then go outside my own range and set up other typical shooting scenarios.

With regard to all cameras in this price range-- JVC, Panny, Sony-- all are tools. The question is finding the right tool for the job and who will support you the best.

I have not shot yet with the HPX but have just had an upclose and personal at a dog and pony show. I love the form factor and ergonomics (better than the non-Panasonic I am currently shooting).

Get down to Abel before they pack up the HPX and actually shoot it. View the footage on a properly-calibrated reference monitor and then judge the noise.

Sorry for the rant, but this comes from someone who assesses all kinds of hardware/software for print reviews and who strives to do so with a real-world approach.

Ned Soltz

Barry_Green
04-15-2009, 08:37 AM
The HXP300 that I used in Africa was a pre-production model from two generations before shipping. It normally exhibited great performance, but there were a few circumstances where it could generate some nasty noise in grossly underexposed conditions; it ruined some of our sunrise shots and it showed up in some of the darker grays like the water buffaloes and the elephants. But then again, that's where any camera would show its noise; nearly anything else would have exhibited some noise in those same shots. The shipping model was, I believe, 4th generation, and was supposed to be significantly improved in terms of noise.

In general, the noise level of the HPX300 is *less* than the HPX170 and HMC150, which are *much less* than the HVX200 ever was, and they're on par with the HVX200A. The 170/150/200A are in the ballpark of being as clean as the EX1 in most situations, and the HPX300 is cleaner than the 170/150/200A; in my side-by-sides with the 3rd gen model they were pretty close. Where the Panasonics don't match up to the EX1 is when the EX1 is in 1080/60i mode; they use interlaced scanning which results in a 6dB reduction in noise; but in 24p/25p/30p/60p the 300 is a pretty decent match against the EX1.

But there was supposed to be a 4th-generation firmware update, prior to the production models shipping, that fixed the grainy black speckly noise that was happening in underexposed situations. I haven't tested that version.

There's another thing that's going on, which is that apparently Panasonic Japan has decided to ship the HPX300 internationally with some fairly awful scene file settings, including a master pedestal of +15 or so! That will stretch the blacks and really exaggerate noise in the lower range. I can't fathom why they chose to do that, it makes no sense at all, and I'd immediately recommend to anyone and everyone to crank that master pedestal back down to maybe -2 to -6, depending on the look you like. You'll see the noise just disappear if you do that.

So set the camera up right, and tweak the image to get it to look the way you want. Look at Philip Bloom's footage. Heck, look at the Africa footage. There were some cases in the first few days where there was some noise present, even some significant noise, and Kevin and I weren't happy about that. We revamped the settings to try to get rid of it (went to -3dB, and B.Press, lowered the detail/sharpening and upped the coring some). It helped a lot. If you see objectionable noise in the Africa footage, then yeah, forget the HPX300, it's not for you. If what you see looks good, then consider that when the camera is optimized with proper settings, that's the kind of look you can get from it. And, factor in that that was 2nd gen, not 4th generation.

Jan_Crittenden
04-15-2009, 09:15 AM
The cameras that are shipped into the US have the pedestal at 0.

Best,

Jan

David Saraceno
04-15-2009, 09:32 AM
In general, the noise level of the HPX300 is *less* than the HPX170 and HMC150, which are *much less* than the HVX200 ever was, and they're on par with the HVX200A.

Did you and Kevin shoot identical scenes with the 300 and 170?

It would be interesting to learn how those shots compared if you guys were able to do that.

Barry_Green
04-15-2009, 09:55 AM
No, the 170 was used for shots that the 300 couldn't get, like our tracking shots of wildlife when I strapped the 170 into the cinesaddle and we'd use the van as a "dolly" to track along with the critters. So we might have some vaguely comparable shots, but certainly nothing side-by-side of the same thing.

I did some of that with charts, and the 300 is just plain sharper and clearer than the 170.

G.P.
04-15-2009, 01:19 PM
Thank you for all the replies guys and gals, It was nice to hear all the info. It has made me much more confident in the camera, I am going to try to get to able cine when I can this week. I have shoots all week so I might not get a chance. I have seen Phillip Blooms work and it was MUCH less noisy than some of the other footage i've seen. It still had those little black dots that I've never seen noise wise, but none the less it was muchh better.

My only problem is I currently dont use, or have a P2 workflow to view raw footage from the camera, and apparently I cant even view the clips on my computer without the camera, I installed the P2viewer and the P2 drivers (without camera hooked up) and all I get is an error saying "the required audio hardware cannot be found on your computer" It seems that you need the hpx300 hookedup via usb to be able to install drivers to view the footage?? I would love if someone could help me with trying to figure out how to view the AVC-Intra footage on my computer (PC runing Vegas pro 8)

On a side note, for Barry Green... How exactly did you create the -3db setting? as I feel this would be very useful in many situations.

Thanks again!

puredrifting
04-15-2009, 02:12 PM
Giuseppe:

-3dB is a menu setting in the HPX300. I recently shot a project with the HPX300 and used -3dB gain for the entire project. The 300 has H/M/L and you determine the gain structure through the menus, the same as on the 170.

Dan

AJ101
04-17-2009, 04:44 AM
Windows Vista Basic?
I had this same problem, installed XP Pro SP3 and it's all happy now.

Lars Henriksen
04-17-2009, 09:39 AM
Hi Giuseppe & Jan...

I tested the HPX-301 a couple of weeks ago and was horrified by the Noise level even at -3db... I looked thru the footage severel times and coulden't believe my eyes, being a Panasonic guy my self.

I asked to test the cam again a week later, but this time side by side with the HPX-500, just to check the Skew and NOISE.

I tested the Skew both in 720p and 1050i and I almost couldent see the skew in the 720p mode - But in the 1080i i was simply too horrible to look at.. almost getting dissy by looking at it. - So in my opinion - The skew is a malfunction on the HPX-301 i 1080i/p mode.

Taking the Noice in consideration - I tried to film different kind of circumstances, dark room, out a window, grey areas etc...

I overall think that the cam perfomed okay and did not have the little black dots at normally lit items, but in the "Gray" areas (like a grey floor), it looked awful... simply awful! It's true about the little black dots in the picture... never seen them in any other format/codec before in my 13 year long career.

Can't use the gain on the cam either... It shoulden't even have been but on the cam as an option. Very bad !

So on that note: Jan... Is it possible, that there in time, will come a softwareupdate for the HPX-301 soon or will it be fixed on the CameraUpdate HPX-302 next year? ;-)

Because: No doubt, the camera would be great if those to functions worked!!! ;-)

Regards

Lars Ege
Fieldproduction.dk

I have the raw materiale... But dont have a FTP to upload it to... Any ideas?

Ben Digedig
04-17-2009, 02:34 PM
I've just ordered this camera. Sounds like I may need a few more lamps and a Hollywood DOP's focal length v pan speed Technicolour chart ;-) Differing opinions - I'll chip in (LOL)when I get it.

It does HUGELY concern me that Panasonic omit the S/N ratio for the chip though. As I've said before, fishy, very fishy. Almost as fishy as trying to layer and grade 8bit long GOP HD ;-)

BD

G.P.
04-17-2009, 02:37 PM
Hi Giuseppe & Jan...

I tested the HPX-301 a couple of weeks ago and was horrified by the Noise level even at -3db... I looked thru the footage severel times and coulden't believe my eyes, being a Panasonic guy my self.

I asked to test the cam again a week later, but this time side by side with the HPX-500, just to check the Skew and NOISE.

I tested the Skew both in 720p and 1050i and I almost couldent see the skew in the 720p mode - But in the 1080i i was simply too horrible to look at.. almost getting dissy by looking at it. - So in my opinion - The skew is a malfunction on the HPX-301 i 1080i/p mode.

Taking the Noice in consideration - I tried to film different kind of circumstances, dark room, out a window, grey areas etc...

I overall think that the cam perfomed okay and did not have the little black dots at normally lit items, but in the "Gray" areas (like a grey floor), it looked awful... simply awful! It's true about the little black dots in the picture... never seen them in any other format/codec before in my 13 year long career.


Can't use the gain on the cam either... It shoulden't even have been but on the cam as an option. Very bad !

So on that note: Jan... Is it possible, that there in time, will come a softwareupdate for the HPX-301 soon or will it be fixed on the CameraUpdate HPX-302 next year? ;-)

Because: No doubt, the camera would be great if those to functions worked!!! ;-)

Regards

Lars Ege
Fieldproduction.dk

I have the raw materiale... But dont have a FTP to upload it to... Any ideas?

Thank you so much! finally someone else sees what I am seeing, I thought I was going nuts at first. The little black dots are just so Odd I have never seen them in all my years of shooting either. And the noise in the gray's are just horrible and distracting, I keep seeing footage and its almost like some kind of effect was put on it, that's how bad it is. I have looked at tons of other "noisy footage" from other cameras, and its not as bad as some i've seen, BUT the way the noise seems to move so much, makes it more distracting than others. Please someone must take note of this seriously, everyone keeps pushing this under the rug as if the footage is manageable, but if everyone keeps saying " well its a 10k camera what do you want from it?" that will never get anything done. When the JVCHD100 came out there was HORRIBLE splitscreen problem, they had to take cameras back to fix this, and even then it was still horrible, but everyone spoke up and thats why things got done. If these new panny owners just think that the noise is something we can live with, panasonic will not address the issue as it would if this was a cripleing defect, which I personally think it is. And to Jan if/when you reply to this, I am in no way trying to make panasonic look bad, I really, really, like this camera, I think its an amazing idea and tool, and it works ALMOST the way it should. But it really does need the technical tweaking from the Panasonic guys to bring this back up to par. I have high standards from a camera thats still a small down payment on a house.

Just as JVC started taking back cameras and fixing them, and working with the owners to get things tweaked, I think panasonic should too. Panasonic has OUTSTANDING repore with the world of video, please keep it that way and make sure the products meet your great standards you have with all the other cameras. If this is an issue that cannot be fixed with firmware, and is actually a CMOS block sensor problem, I strongly suggest that this is taken into consideration when they keep pumping these things out. I know NBC already has a ton on the way if not already in their hands. I have worked with NBC on a number of occasions, I dont think they would like it anymore than I do. If somethings wrong please fix it, If that means people have to send their cameras in that should be available, if it means that new blocks have to be made/tweaked and put in the cameras, that should be available too.

RED One has an amazing touch with their buyers, they CONSTANTLY update the cameras firmware to keep the camera only getting better and better. In this day and age when technology can be handled like this, I really think that should be the least Panasonic can do, keep the guys busy in the lab with testing and make sure if the cameras not right by the time its in our hands, at least make it better and better with updates that are downloadable. Please someone else speak up, I know my eyes aren't the only ones that see this, just stop and take a look at your footage on an HD screen, you will see all kinds of things going on that really shouldn't. We need this fixed.'


To Lars Henriksen as for the FTP thing I have a server I could give you access to, so you could upload from your place, please let me know when you would like to set that up.

David Saraceno
04-17-2009, 04:59 PM
everyone keeps pushing this under the rug as if the footage is manageable

There aren't that many 300s out there.

I've not seen any reports to indicate others are seeing the issue described in the last two posts here.

I'm not disputing the problem, if there is one, but I don't see any cover up of anything.

puredrifting
04-17-2009, 05:54 PM
On the 300 project I shot, I am not seeing any black dots or excessive noise. It is definitely cleaner than the 170 or 200 we also shot with because we are cutting between all three constantly for the sequences and the 300 always looks best and looks more filmic and sharper than the 170 or 200.

Dan

sonic freak
04-17-2009, 06:12 PM
My oh my. Buy it or not. Giuseppe, just test the freakin' camera. Like millions of other times the cliche has been mentioned, it's just a tool... It will have noise. Every camera in its price range does. LIVE WITH IT!

I was thinking about buying a 300, but instead went for a 500. I found a great deal on one. That was my decision. I lost rez and sharpness, but I gained low light, better (to me) DOF, and 2/3" lens options. (I was out shooting in total darkness on my street last night just to try it and I laughed about how good the camera is in near complete darkness..)

So I hope you like the 300 when you try it. But don't expect somebody else to test exactly what YOU want tested.

JUST GO BUY ONE ALREADY!

Happy shooting :)

Mike Harvey
04-17-2009, 08:12 PM
Preface - I have never touched a 300, so take this with a grain of salt.

When I bought my 150, I started testing it under the ridiculously nice studio lighting at the TV station I work at, then hooked it up to one of our plasmas via HDMI.

I was horrified at the noise I saw... until I realized I was standing 1.5 feet from a 50" plasma monitor. Duh. Took a few steps back to normal viewing distance, and it looked good. Then I realized just how noisy our plasmas were in general. I then spent the next two weeks tweaking the camera to the settings I like and tried it again on the same plasma. It was leaps and bounds better.

Which brings me to my questions... what are you looking at this on? That could account for some of it. Also, what settings was the camera set to? You may or may not know the scene file the footage was set to, but on the 150/170/200, the "Cinema" scene file settings introduce a lot of noise. I don't know if the 300 has similar scene file settings, but if it does, that may account for it.

My $.02

Lars Henriksen
04-21-2009, 11:32 AM
Hi again guys...

I've got the Sony EX1, DVX100 and HVX200.... I did the tests on the HPX301 twice... Same result... "Black Dots" in all grey areas !

Im gonna upload some footage too Giuseppe, whom might be able to put a couple of links up for graps.

I did the "Skew" tests and tried 50P "Slow" and the "Gain" feature on the cam... all pretty bad, except for the 50P mode, it looked ok.

I've never seen the same amount of Noise on any cam in the same pricerange at all.. (mentioned above) Acually, the HVX200 passes with flying colours in DVCPRO HD !

Giuseppe, please send me the FTP adress on mail: mail@fieldproduction.dk - Then i'll upload my testfiles with discription on each of them.

Regards

Lars Henriksen
Fieldproduction.dk

puredrifting
04-21-2009, 01:10 PM
Lars:

Do you have any frame grabs of these black dots? I have not seen any in my 300 footage.

D

Lars Henriksen
04-21-2009, 01:40 PM
Lars:

Do you have any frame grabs of these black dots? I have not seen any in my 300 footage.

D

Yeah... I'll upload them tomorrow at my office... I'll get back to you.

- - -

Here they are:

Notice the "Indoor Test" pic... Watch it in fullsize and look at the LCD screen.. You will notice little small dots, that would appear much worse, when in motion.

About the "Outdoor Test" pic... Look at the concrete walls underneath the subway tracks... Again, you will notice a LOT of Noice on a perfectly good/new concrete wall.

In other words, the noice is extreme in this cam... All details, knee, gamma etc. is set to 0 and normal gamma curves.

Hope that you can use this little info. ;-)

But by the way - I-m gonna buy a HPX301 when they have done the two fixes: Skew og Noice! ;-)

Regards

Lars Henriksen
Fieldproduction.dk

puredrifting
04-21-2009, 02:40 PM
Yes, I see what you mean. Almost like digital grit or black sand. Hmm...I wonder if it could be camera settings. Where was your master ped set at?

Dan

Lars Henriksen
04-21-2009, 11:12 PM
Yes, I see what you mean. Almost like digital grit or black sand. Hmm...I wonder if it could be camera settings. Where was your master ped set at?

Dan

They were set at 0 - I wanted to see the cams possibilities straight out the box...

And in my opinion - That is the right way to do it, because, if you need to tweek and turn the cam menu to get rid of noise like that, then the cam is not working right.

Have you tried to film in grey areas with the HPX300 ? - When ever you shoot with it, then watch the materiel in full res through Quicktime Player, and then notice the little black dots - mostly in the grey areas... ;-)

Lars

SPZ
04-22-2009, 01:13 AM
Lars, I assume you're using Prores converted FCP files, right? How does it look when played back from the P2 card/camera to the monitor? Could it be that the problem is in the converting to Prores process of the equation?

Lars Henriksen
04-22-2009, 01:46 AM
Hey SÚrgio...

That's right - I'm doing the import through FCP with ProRes And must admit, that when I did the shoot and looked at my Panasonic HD screen, I did'ent see the black dots on there... But still - Shoulden't Pana have said something about this issue on there website / Forum...? Just too prevent people like me, NOT buing the cam...? ;-)

I'll test the footage directly from the P2 files later today... I'm gonna get back too you...

G.P.
04-22-2009, 02:16 AM
Hi again guys...

I've got the Sony EX1, DVX100 and HVX200.... I did the tests on the HPX301 twice... Same result... "Black Dots" in all grey areas !

Im gonna upload some footage too Giuseppe, whom might be able to put a couple of links up for graps.

I did the "Skew" tests and tried 50P "Slow" and the "Gain" feature on the cam... all pretty bad, except for the 50P mode, it looked ok.

I've never seen the same amount of Noise on any cam in the same pricerange at all.. (mentioned above) Acually, the HVX200 passes with flying colours in DVCPRO HD !

Giuseppe, please send me the FTP adress on mail: mail@fieldproduction.dk - Then i'll upload my testfiles with discription on each of them.

Regards

Lars Henriksen
Fieldproduction.dk

I'm gonna send you an Email with instructions on how to upload to our server, might take me a little while to setup a guest account, but as soon as I do I'll send it over to you.


Lars, I assume you're using Prores converted FCP files, right? How does it look when played back from the P2 card/camera to the monitor? Could it be that the problem is in the converting to Prores process of the equation?

This is something everyone should definitely test, hook it up to an HD monitor and see if that comes straight out of the camera, and also play back the P2 native files in full HD resolution on a 1080p computer monitor.





Hey SÚrgio...

That's right - I'm doing the import through FCP with ProRes And must admit, that when I did the shoot and looked at my Panasonic HD screen, I did'ent see the black dots on there... But still - Shouldn't Pana have said something about this issue on there website / Forum...? Just too prevent people like me, NOT buing the cam...? ;-)

I'll test the footage directly from the P2 files later today... I'm gonna get back too you...

on what "Panasonic HD screen" are you talking about? because if its a 7" monitor that stuff will definitely not show up on there. You need to have a full res 1080p monitor setup so you can view pixel by pixel.


I think what was said above is extremely true, I believe NONE of us have ever seen such bad handling of footage from this price range ever. It is just unacceptable and its going to make a lot of buyers of this camera very angry when they just paid 10k and found out their footage looks like something shot with a $600 handy cam. This daylight footage is looking horrible, it looks like it cant handle highlights next to mid or low range at all.

I am VERY picky with footage and I can always spot a good camera from bad, and to be honest if you did not tell me this footage was from this camera I would have thought this footage was from some cheap crappy hd camera under 600 bucks.

Already on B&H's site there is a horrible review of someone who just bought the camera, a one star review telling everyone that they would rather shoot with an hvx200 than this camera is very damaging, and its only going to get worse unless Panasonic does something about it, or at least address the situation buy telling the consumers that they will work on it, instead of them say " you just need to know how to use this tool for the right application" ... That to me is BS, this camera isn't marketed to only one situation like maybe a RED cam is... This is a broadcast ENG form factor camera, and they say "pan and tilt like the chart speeds tell you to, and you'll be fine" that's another BS way to say we dont care enough to fix this problem. If this camera was strictly for FILM SHOOTING then sure that statement would hold true in some cases, but its not... People buying this cam could need it to shoot news, sports, and TONS of other applications that would require someone to pan fast. And by the way that chart is to minimize "film jutter" NOT skew. If you set this camera in 1080i mode, the skew is just as bad. Dont get me started on trying to shoot a hand held walking shot, I just saw one on this camera and its like jello.

I feel it is very irresponsible of this company to not say they are addressing the issue, or will look into, instead they are acting as if nothing is wrong, and the people using the camera are the ones at fault... what happened to the customer is always right?? And these people buying the camera are not regular people, these are people who do this as a serious hobby or profession, this is 10,000 dollars we are talking about, not 1k. How can you blame the people buying this by saying you need to learn how to use it... Obviously we do know how to use it, their are tons of EX1/3 Owners out there who know the limitations of CMOS but this is just ridiculous. I did get to see one RAW P2 file out of this camera, and yes the footage although it wasnt really shot to look like a film, was very bland, colors were washed out and dry, and over camera looked cheap.

It would make all of us feel better if Panasonic stated that they are aware of the problems and they are going to attempt, to the best of their abilities to fix the camera. Instead we get a sorry you spent the money, now you're stuck and need to figure out how to shoot with these ridiculous PROBLEMS that our camera has.

I think its rude. I would personally like to put together a test session with 4 main cameras and really put it through its paces... Is anyone in NY willing to set this up with me? My production company and my affiliate production companies could set this up... Let me know what you think.

Lars Henriksen
04-22-2009, 04:57 AM
on what "Panasonic HD screen" are you talking about? because if its a 7" monitor that stuff will definitely not show up on there. You need to have a full res 1080p monitor setup so you can view pixel by pixel.


Link:
http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=243666&catGroupId=14625&surfModel=BT-LH1760

This was the monitor I viewed the materiale on... But, I dident look at the monitor, when I noticed the "Black Dots" this was during handheld recording... So now im gonna check the raw footage out directly from the P2 media... Does anybody know, which software i can use to view the P2 cards i full res? (without going thru FCP)

Lars

Joe Shaw
04-22-2009, 07:34 AM
I think the Panasonic P2 player software should do that shouldn't it?

Lars Henriksen
04-23-2009, 07:37 AM
Sorry to say, that the Panasonic P2 Player does not support AVC-Intra Codec's - yet... Anybody have another idea to how im gonna play the P2 files in another app. than FCP?

Lars

Jan_Crittenden
04-23-2009, 05:13 PM
Did you down load the AVC-Intra Decoder software, if not that probably explains why you are having the problem.

We, Barry and I, looked at the cameras here and they do not look like the footage from above. I do see a bit of a footprint from the Pro-Res on the footage here, not totally objectionable but I do see it, and to me, it looks a little like what is on your footage.

I would go back to the store, record some footage and play it back on the largest monitor they have and see if you still see it. Make sure the DRS is off. Remember this makes noise if the picture doesn't need it.

Best,

Jan

Barry_Green
04-23-2009, 08:20 PM
I saw, and was quite bothered by, black speckly noise in some of the shots we got in Africa. I raised cane with the engineers and showed them the sample clips. I was assured that they had greatly improved the noise in the version 3 camera, and the production camera is version 4. In most cases the noise was less than from a 170 or 200A, and about on par with the EX1, maybe a tad noisier but definitely in the ballpark, and only occasionally would the speckles show. It was a pre-production prototype. The speckles were never meant to be in the final version. I reported what my findings were in general to the public, and took the concerns about the speckles to the manufacturer and was assured that they were going to, and subsequently had addressed it.

I had not used a production camera, until today.

I took a production model 300 from the show floor and shot some footage that would have guaranteed shown the black speckles that the older prototype camera showed. I then marched the camera down to the DSC Labs booth, to shoot one of their gray charts they had on display. I didn't do anything all that scientific, but it didn't need to be; I just wanted gray bars in a wide variety of IRE values. Then, to further make sure that I had covered all the bases, I did a very slow iris rack to brighter, and then to darker, to bracket the exposure and capture every possible noise level.

I then viewed the footage back on a 50" plasma that they had mounted above the cameras in the booth. I saw no black speckly noise. There was noise, sure, as there would be from a 170 or a 200A or an EX1. But not the black speckly stuff that bothered me from the preproduction model.

Now, there may be settings that exaggerate the situation, but I used all zeroes, HD NORM gamma, and a master ped of -4. Those are pretty much my minimum settings. If someone is using master ped of +15, I can't help that, that's stretching the blacks out and exaggerating any issues that might be there. I cannot fathom why the European cameras would ship with master ped of +1, much less +15. Makes no sense.

I did find a case where I thought I could see a few black speckles of a very minor nature happening in some side-by-side footage (HPX500 vs. HPX300) but Jan kindly pointed out that the DRS was on. Once we turned that off, the speckles completely disappeared.

DRS is a noise monster. DRS level 1 can introduce up to 6dB of gain, DRS level 3 can introduce up to 18dB of gain! If black speckles are happening with DRS 3, then I would pretty much say "duh." DRS 3 can cause a hailstorm of noise in the shadows, and simply should not be used unless absolutely necessary. DRS is like gain (well, it USES gain, for heck's sake) so you should ony use it when you absolutely need it, just like you'd do with the gain switch.

Turn DRS off unless you need it.

In any case, I satisfied myself that the black speckly issue is at least GREATLY improved, if not fully eliminated.

I'm satisfied enough that I think when I get back from Vegas, I'm going to order one.

If someone can make speckles happen in a controlled environment with repeatable circumstances, I'd be very interested in hearing what the menu settings are, and whether DRS is engaged, and what the waveform monitor is saying about the IRE levels of where the speckles are happening.

Martin Rose
04-24-2009, 03:29 AM
We just received our 302 today and noticed the black speckles straight away. Funny because I don't remember seeing it on the demo unit that we had. Will do more investigation tomorrow.

SDI out to Blackmagic SDI to HDMI Converter to Panasonic 42 inch consumer plasma under low light fluro ) 0 gain

Noticed that the default settings all 0 except detail coring which was +5 and skin detail is turned on

Martin

alexdias
04-24-2009, 07:05 PM
It seems to me that when the problem is present it's quite an issue.
It's interesting that not a lot of users have been reporting so far.

SPZ
04-25-2009, 04:35 AM
Any way one can check which firmware is installed on the camera?

Jan_Crittenden
04-25-2009, 04:46 AM
Hi,

to check the firmware go to the last position on the menu and open it. I think it is called diagnostics, not sure. But the firmware version will be there. Keep in mind that if you do not need the DRS, it will make the picture noisy. If the scene calls for it use it, the DRS will bring the scene under control and not be making noise, give it an well lit set and it will be noisy.

Best,

Jan

Jan_Crittenden
04-25-2009, 04:48 AM
Noticed that the default settings all 0 except detail coring which was +5 and skin detail is turned on



Martin, Check the DRS, is it on. Two places it could be assigned, a User Button, and the Auto Knee.

Best,

Jan

Lars Henriksen
04-25-2009, 11:58 AM
Martin, Check the DRS, is it on. Two places it could be assigned, a User Button, and the Auto Knee.

Best,

Jan

Hi Jan.

I'm happy, that you guys might have found the defect of the HPX302...

I just can't help woundering, if there will be an update, where this issue is corrected, so that the DRS dosen't create that kind of noise i the future... Is it just a software update or is it mecanically - and will it be fixed soon?

- And since I have your attention - Is the issue with Skew in 1080i being handled through software update or is that a hardware problem too - And is this going to be fixed as well?

Really hope that you will inlighten me, so that I can order one soon... ;-)

Regards

Lars Henriksen
Fieldproduction.dk

Jan_Crittenden
04-25-2009, 04:05 PM
Lars,
You misunderstand my comment. DRS is not noisy when you have a scene that is a very wide dynamic range, ie. over 100IRE. In that case use it. When it is not, then don't as it will then just create noise as it is trying to do something that is not necesssary.

There is no software update necessary, only appropriate use.

I had a couple of DPs go out and shoot some stuff with 1080i/24P. They found that they were able to easily control skew as long as they paid attention to judder. In other words, use the ASC chart for motion judder and you will be fine.

Best,

Jan

SPZ
04-26-2009, 08:58 AM
Jan, while its manageable, I hope your words don't mean there's no way around this skew and you guys stopped working on it. It is about 70% worse than the EX series cameras (in 1080p 24, 25), and this is something that clearly is a disadvantage towards the competition. Not to say it is not manageable, but it is something that clearly is below the competition and needs to be improved.

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2009, 03:27 AM
Hi Sergio,

So you are saying that the skew needs to be fixed in 1080P/24 because its skew is worse than the Sony even though in order to not have motion judder you will be moving the camera in a fashion that the skew doesn't show up? Keep in mind the skew in virtually all the other frame rates and formats are the same or the Panasonic is improved.

I think you should go rent a camera and try it. I have some tracking footage of cars on the LV strip and while they are not doing Grand Prix, they are moving. The guy I had shoot it, didn't get any skew. And yes he tracked the cars through the frame.

Best,

Jan

G.P.
04-27-2009, 06:54 AM
I think that everyone wants to know that the skew is being worked on is not just because of a control of jutter pan speed issue, but more of the fact that it has been noted that this is fixable (improved) by speeding up the read cycle of the MOS chips. Since this is public knowledge we are all kind of shocked that there is nothing being done for this to be tried out to improve its ability. Also Skew doesn't just effect pans, but handheld shots are pretty much useless. That is the big one. I keep seeing hand held shots that just look like jello. This is is both 1080p and 1080i modes. That means every time you want to shoot handheld and walk, the vibration from your foot hitting the ground travels up to your shoulder and into the camera, the result is the entire frame becoming very odd looking when someone is walking and shooting. Infact any vibration to this camera in 1080 mode will result in this.

That is not "controllable" as being said about a pan speed. If you shoot your work handheld this is something we cannot control, this is simply just unacceptable as a tool then.

Why isn't Panasonics team just accepting that there needs to be improvements in this area and working on it? Again its disappointing that we are getting the blame that we need to shoot differently, instead of at least trying to do the cycle speed up, such as other well known MOS chip cameras. Some of us have been shooting the same way for many many years, and audiences and clients are also used to seeing things shot a certain way... now it is being told that we cant anymore just because someone doesn't want to try and fix this problem? I just don't think that's right.

It just feels like a cover up instead of someone stepping forward and say "I am sorry but the skew effect cannot be improved and all production models will have this and there will be no improvement in the future as well". If that was said then at least people wanting to buy this camera would not have false hope of this issues being fixed via firmware update.

The other way is saying " We are aware of the problem, and although we dont have a solution now, we are at work trying to improve its ability" Another statement that could greatly be welcomed by the Panasonic buyers. But instead we keep hearing the same thing, as if there's nothing wrong? Is the reason neither of theses statements being said, because you guys just simply don't know if it could be fixed/improved, or because you know it cant be fixed, but if you put a definite on it, you could lose sales? ... I know that I will never hear you guys say that, but its a question i'm sure that is on the minds of many people who are aware of this situation.

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2009, 07:00 AM
Hi,

At this point in time the answer that I can offer you is:
I am sorry but the skew effect cannot be improved and all production models will have this effect. It is a CMOS imager and there are ways to work with it.

Best,

Jan

David Saraceno
04-27-2009, 09:16 AM
Jan:

Do you have any of that footage of the LV strip and cars?

Can it be posted somewhere?

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2009, 10:44 AM
It is about 1.6GBs. So, do you have room to post it and possibly more important, the bandwidth for the multiple downloads.

Other than that, happy to do so. I just know that our server couldn't take that length of a download.

Best,

Jan

Buck Forester
04-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Obviously broadcast/cinema quality CMOS is a technology in rapid transition. It's where things are headed. Even RED has made changes to their specs after announcing cameras in progress. I hope Panasonic sells a ton of these cameras so they can learn from them and have the resources to rapidly improve the technology. The HPX300 is a chunk of change to have these limitations, but shooting within the limatations it looks like an awesome picture. I'm a little surprised they didn't start their high-end CMOS in a smaller form camera, like a HVX200 or EX1 size (unless they had a vastly superior CMOS to put in it), but there are guys in suits on the 60th floor offices that are much smater than me.

G.P.
04-27-2009, 12:15 PM
It is about 1.6GBs. So, do you have room to post it and possibly more in portant, the bandwidth for the mutliple downloads.

Other than that, happy to do so. I just know that our server couldn't take that length of a download.

Best,

Jan


Hello Jan, I just got off the phone with my IT guys, we have setup a space on our server for a private FTP link for you guys to use to upload footage for the HPX300. I was told we have enough power to handle 3-4 downloads at a time for a 1.6 gig file. We have created a password protected setup that will only allow people with a password to download the files from our server, that will insure that the site will never go down due to large amounts of downloads at the same time.

If anyone else would like to use our server as a way to upload files for the camera please contact me, and we can setup a spot for you on the server. We have unlimited bandwidth so its just a matter of how much the actual server can take.

All downloads will require a password that will be given out by us, that way we can control how many downloads at a single time will happen. We are offering this service free, so thats the trade off, free uploads and downloads, but you need the password from us to be emailed to you for you to download it.

All FTP access will be custom made, so that no one can access footage without password protection as well.

Please contact me via e-mail if you would like to set this up...

Joe@NewYorkFilmStudios.com

Hope this helps.

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2009, 01:02 PM
Will do Guiseppe, but can you start a new thread with the release fo the clip with instructions on how to get the password and stuff. Will be in touch.

Best,

Jan

G.P.
04-27-2009, 01:11 PM
Will do Guiseppe, but can you start a new thread with the release fo the clip with instructions on how to get the password and stuff. Will be in touch.

Best,

Jan


Sure will, Instructions will be posted within the next few hours.

David Saraceno
04-27-2009, 01:17 PM
I'm so gratified that this can be worked out

What I would like uploaded is the CONTENTS folder so we all can download the raw footage for trancode.

is this possible?

G.P.
04-27-2009, 02:39 PM
I'm so gratified that this can be worked out

What I would like uploaded is the CONTENTS folder so we all can download the raw footage for trancode.

is this possible?

Yes this is possible, please read my new post about using the FTP server.

Dave Nelson
05-04-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi Sergio,

So you are saying that the skew needs to be fixed in 1080P/24 because its skew is worse than the Sony even though in order to not have motion judder you will be moving the camera in a fashion that the skew doesn't show up? Keep in mind the skew in virtually all the other frame rates and formats are the same or the Panasonic is improved.

I think you should go rent a camera and try it. I have some tracking footage of cars on the LV strip and while they are not doing Grand Prix, they are moving. The guy I had shoot it, didn't get any skew. And yes he tracked the cars through the frame.

Best,

Jan


We could put some of these rumors to bed by getting Adam Wilt to take a serious look at the HPX300. I see that he is hoping to get his hands on this camera to put it through its paces. I can't think of anyone that would be more qualified or objective about the camera.

I think he has already made arrangements to get the HPX300, according to his NAB Wrap-up at provideocoalition.com.
See link: http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/awilt/story/nab_2009_wilts_wrap_up/P1/.

Until such time as an objective reviewer has submitted his report on the HPX300's performance, I think it is fruitless for people with no hands-on experience to either praise or criticize the noise levels, negative rolling shutter characteristocs of what have you of the camera.

Just my $0.02 worth.

--Dave